School of Music to fund raise $1.4M for upgrades


The Nelson School of Music restoration and rebuild is gaining momentum, with a public fundraising campaign set to launch this week.

The heritage building has been closed for over a year because of earthquake risk.
The School of Music Trust is now in the process of fundraising to strengthen, refurbish and reopen the auditorium and build a new multi-use facility, complete with rehearsal and teaching rooms.

The Rainey House site in Collingwood St is also set for a major revamp. With the plans drawn up, major funders in place, the community is now being asked to help reach a fundraising target of $1.4m out of the total project cost of $6.4m.

Fundraising committee chair Colleen Marshall said she is confident there would be plenty of support for the project, given the School of Music’s role at the heart of Nelson’s musical life, and its national reputation. “We have already had some local businesses coming forward to help. There is so much goodwill out there.”

The committee will also apply for grants, and a wide variety of fundraising events and activities are also in the pipeline, including a gala featuring some well-known New Zealand performers. Colleen Marshall calls the rebuild “well overdue”, and is thrilled that Nelson will boast a state-of-the-art music and performance venue that is vibrant and will cater to the city’s young people. “It’s essential” says Colleen.

“Nelson can only be proud of what we are going to achieve here.”
The fundraising campaign officially launches at a function in the City Council Civic Chamber on Wednesday, June 24. Construction work is expected to start before the end of year and the buildings will reopen in late 2016.

A brochure, with details of the project and other ways to donate, will be available from the Nelson School of Music website from Wednesday, or picked up from Fifeshire House.